‘New’ photos emerging

UPDATED!

As noted by a lot of people in comments, there’s some “new” photos over at Leftlane News that were posted while I was sleeping (damn time zones!!).

First there’s these, which have been given the small treatment for a reason.

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Wih thanks again to ctm, a quick check of the registration number of this vehicle (SRL 330) shows it to be a 9-3 SportCombi, owned by Saab Sweden and first registered in July 2006. It has a 184Kw petrol engine. The car has an Aero badge on the back and indeed, the 2007 Aero runs at 184kW in standard trim. A look at the front end photos shows no evidence of a bulge in the hood and the headlamps look exactly the same as a MY2007 SportCombi. The only difference I can see is that the brake calipers are painted blue.

This may be a test mule being used to test something with the SportCombi, but for all intents and purposes it looks just like a MY2007 SportCombi to me. One with blue calipers and an Eibach sway bar.

That final photo might tell us something, but I don’t know enough to say what. It was also used in the original Aftonbladet story, but cropped differently. Like Alec Baldwin with the submarine photos at the start of Hunt for Red October, I’ve passed it by our resident Saabologist to see if he sees anything unusual there. When I hear back from him I’ll let you know, especially if it’s hiding a secret, silent caterpillar drive!!

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UPDATE:

Matt the fudgepacker (aka Saabologist) has replied with regard to the fourth photo, via comments. Here’s the photo (clickable), adjusted to highlight the part in question. Matt’s comments follow below:

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Mate, you lot are looking at an aluminium rear diff. No doubt. I dont have any info on the rear suspension layout on the wagon as I stopped working for them before I got my hands on it.

I’ll look at a wagon when I go to town tomorrow to check the rear set up. Pretty sure that this is a rear diff though, aluminium construction, cooling fins circular indent (for oil draining) and a rusty steel hex headed drain bolt in the circular indent. It’s a diff. What else could it be??

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The photos below are more interesting, but they’re not all new, either. The good thing about them, though, is that they’re free of newsprint and much clearer than the original shots. So let’s take a look….

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In these clear images we can see all the tape that’s being used to disguise the changes to the front grille and headlamp area.

As has been mentioned previously, we can possibly expect to see some daytime LED running lights across the top of the headlamps. The top section of the headlamps appears to be taped in the close up shots here and done in a fashion to shape them like 9-5 headlamps. What will the final shape be? We’ll have to wait and see.

There’s also lots of tape around the grille area, which is likely hiding a bit of bling.

The one photo amongst these that is new is the full frontal shot with the occupants blurred out. This gives a better everyday view of what the car might look like. Seen in full proportion I’ve moved from ‘pure automotive lust’ to ‘schwinggg’, but ‘schwinggg’ is still pretty darn nice!

That’s my 0.02c worth, have yours in comments.

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27 Comments

  1. The red lights are indeed standard US spec.

    As to red vs white, well that’s a matter of personal taste.

    I’d go for the ice blocks myself, but each to their own.

  2. Mate you lot are looking at an aluminium rear diff.No doubt.
    I dont have any info on the rear suspension layout on the wagon as i stopped working for them before i got my hands on it.
    I’ll look at a wagon when i go to town tomorrow to check the rear set up.
    Pretty sure that this is a rear diff though,aluminium construction,cooling fins circular indent(for oil draining)What else could it be??

  3. Someone on SC said the under-car pic of the sway bar is the best evidence so far that there’ll be AWD. Why ?

    I doubt there’ll be daytime-running LEDs above the headlights, that taped portion within the headlight cover seems to thin to contain anything. But something like the new Audi R8 with its front LEDs may be cool !

    Not sure I like the clamshell integration here as much as on the 9-5 where it flows nicely into the doors and side mirrors. But still, a good nod to Saab’s heritage nevertheless.

  4. I’m so excited. It’s like Christmas.

    It’s almost time to unleash the 9-3’s potential and show the Germans and Japanse what’s what.

  5. Looking closely at the photo that shows just the one light assembly (and most of the grill), you can notice a few more details:

    1) Chrome peeking out from under tape on the side port grill

    2) Chrome on the top corner of the light assembly (doesnt rule out LEDs also being there)

    3) Contour line of how the light ends can be seen in the tape itself (see the swooping curve?)

  6. 93Aero, if you look closely at the oversized pic originally posted at LeftLaneNews.com you’ll see that the blackout tape on the headlights cuts just short of the upper left corner – and looking how the actual headlight trim there extends further up into what you think may be chrome, I guess we could well be looking at LEDs.

    Just a guess, of course – but what is blacked out on the headlamps seems to be part of them, i.e. an integral component. A chrome trim would not be…

  7. Its all bollocks!! its the caddy BLS thats getting AWD, they just threw it on the Saab to get Swady all hot and bothered.

    al ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Has anyone checked out the comments at http://www.leftlanenews.com ?? Though, I find most of their forums to be highly immature banter of import lover’s and anti-american enthusiasts… I do find their non-acceptance of Saab as predictable.

    No matter how much the potential changes make me drool and dream, the success of the brand still lies in GM’s willingness to foster (ie. rain-down money) Saab’s growth. I question rather GM will ever fully announce, or come to the educated understanding that they must announce, the Saab revitalization.

  9. As noted in comments, its what’s under the black tape at the rear of the headlamp that is intruiging.

    Look closely and you will a mould line showing thru the tape-over. The shape is the classic curved indicator lens shape off the post 1971 99 and 900 Classic. That shape became the ‘face’ of Saab and was penned by the then young Bjorn Envall after Sixten Sason’s death -when they updated the early 99 front end of the ’71 model year.

    There does indeed seem to be chrome trim – a la 9-5 Dame Edna headlamps -but only on the upper edges.

    That Combi Wagon rear bumper is a new mouling too.

    What is that rear diff going to do the under car airflow and pressure/wake distribution? time for some venturi tunnels up the back bumper then Saab?

  10. The front apron housing the front fog lights is reminiscent of the post 2002 facelifted version of the 9-5 Aero (am obviously referring to the version which came to Southern Africa shores).

  11. Just b/c I was curious how it would look, I quickly photoshopped in the chrome where it looks like it will be on the grilles and above the headlights:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/86/382751941_43ebd8a093.jpg

    I know that this photoshop is terrible, but I just wanted to get a rough idea of how it might look.

    I’m still going to withhold judgement until I see the final product. At the moment I think the front-end looks very 9-7x-ish, with the lower part of the front end coming from an ’05 9-5 Aero. I wish rather than being derivative of past models, they had moved more forward with their design. Then again, maybe they’re saving the big changes for the all new 9-3 and 9-5?

  12. Maybe it’s just me, but I would even like the grill as pictured (almost all black). I like the way it makes the Saab logo stand out from the rest of the grill. Granted, it might not look so great in other colors…but I think the black on black combo looks mean!

  13. Yes, in looking at the photos again it does look like the whole grille might be chrome including the grills, but it’s very hard to tell with all of the masking.

    RJ, I also think the all-black front end looks nice, but agree that it might look weird on other colors.

    Saaboy, it actually was Microsoft paint. I was mistakenly using the term photoshop as a verb, kind of like “I googled…” I do realize that it looks pretty awful, but I just wanted to get an impression of how the chrome may look.

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